Journey Confirms New Lead Singer

Journey has a new singer. A spokesperson for Columbia Records has confirmed that the band's new vocalist is Steve Augeri, previously with the band Tall Stories. Former vocalist Steve Perry is expected to re-launch a solo career, which appears to be already under way with the inclusion of two tracks on the just-released soundtrack to the animated movie, "Quest For Camelot," including the pending single/video, "I Stand Alone."

The revamped Journey is currently in the studio with Augeri at the mike recording a song called "Remember Me" for the soundtrack of the wannabe-summer blockbuster "Armageddon." The band is also scheduled to play a handful of live dates in Japan later in June. Earlier this week agent Nick Caras had acknowledged that those dates were on hold, but alluded to internal matters that needed straightening out before they could be confirmed.

Last week, keyboardist Jonathan Cain denied reports that Perry was officially out of the group. Cain

had told recording artist-turned-radio interviewer Greg Kihn that the situation was uncertain because Perry was constantly changing his mind regarding his commitment to the band, but that Perry was still in the fold. However, that was contrary to previous interviews given by Cain and his bandmates in the recent past where all indications pointed to Perry's departure.

Insiders report that the main problem has been hashing out a settlement between the two factions, and that Perry had demanded a press blackout in advance of his approval of all press information. The band's management has refused to comment, and their publicists have denied knowledge of the situation.

Perry has been suffering from arthritis in the hip and back. Sources say his unwillingness to tour was the major point of contention.

Cain told Kihn that he, guitarist Neal Schon and bassist Ross Valory were working on new material and that he and Schon, who he confirmed has always

been the main melody writer in Journey, have already written eight new songs together.

No mention has been made of drummer Steve Smith, who is rumored to have been replaced by Bad English drummer Deen Castronovo.

Journey released a Steve Perry-fronted live album, "Greatest Hits Live," in the States late last month. Their last studio effort was 1996's "Trial By Fire," recorded by the reformed band after a 10-year hiatus.